Microsoft, Senfino and EY have officially launched a new startup accelerator program in Warsaw, creating a community-driven environment to help startups grow and expand.
Called Startberry, the program has been designed as a place where young technology companies from all over Eastern and Central Europe will be able to cooperate and inspire each other.
“Poland has all it takes to become a centre for technological projects in Central and Eastern Europe – with its IT talent, measured by the sheer number of programmers, as well as the growing ecosystem of technology companies. I congratulate the 10 startups that have been included in the program so far and wish them success,” commented Michel van der Bel, Microsoft Vice-President for Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Startberry is the only startup-focused initiative co-founded by two leaders in their respective market segments – EY and Microsoft – and the Polish technology and design company Senfino, which due to its history and experience is close to the Polish startup scene. The partners contribute not only their expertise and knowledge, but also crucially offer access to their customers and partners.
“The market leaders of tomorrow are often not much more than germinating ideas today. This is why we are supporting young, innovative technology companies to enable them to successfully realize their growth potential. We are helping them with making key business decisions, as well as tailoring their technological solutions to the needs of the customers we work with. With an international network of experts and EY offices in over 150 countries, we give them access to knowledge and business contacts in any geographical area,” says Jacek Kędzior, Managing Partner of EY Poland.
“We believe that relationships built with entrepreneurs at an early stage of development and support offered at the most critical moments will contribute to building Poland’s ecosystem of innovation,” he adds.
Preparing for tomorrow
The World Economic Forum predicts the digital economy to be worth 100 trillion dollars by 2025. The companies which include the digital transformation in their strategy are, on the average, 26% more profitable than those which lag behind the digital change.
“Technology will become the beating heart of every organization. Digital transformation is undoubtedly a critical growth enabler for all businesses, regardless of sector, maturity or size”, Michel van der Bel stated.
“Poland has all attributes to become a hub for technology ventures in the CEE region with its deep IT talent pool, which includes a large number of developers, as well as its strong infrastructure and emerging tech ecosystem. Congratulations and best of luck to the 10 startups entering the acceleration process”.
One of the two pillars of Startberry’s operations is the accelerator program for young technology companies that offer B2B enterprise-class solutions. This will enable them to meet the needs of big business which emerge in the context of digital transformation.
Adapted to the needs of each selected startup, it is intended for business ventures which already have prototypes or implementations of their solutions, or have even begun to sell them. Each company’s development program is tailor-made and designed to meet the key challenges, taking into account potential growth opportunities.
The first Startberry accelerator program began in June 2017. In the first edition, 10 business projects are being developed to create solutions in such market areas as programmer recruitment, autism diagnosis, advanced financial analytics, artificial intelligence, and improving internal corporate communications.
“The Startberry accelerator program, due to the involvement of such strong partners as EY, Microsoft and Senfino, creates a unique value on the Polish market. These companies individually adapt the program to the needs of each participant by engaging their best professionals with a huge market experience. The effects of such personalized co-operation are immediate, giving Devskiller a huge growth boost in global markets,” says Tomasz Winter, HR Tech Advisor and Partner at Devskiller.com.
As part of its commitment to Startberry, Microsoft offers the participating companies access to Microsoft technologies, but also to the largest partner channel in Poland’s technology industry – the Microsoft Partner Network.
An important part of the acceleration will also be to enable startups to present their solutions to potential customers – large enterprise companies which cooperate with Microsoft on their path to digital transformation. The company will also support the projects by including them in the international initiatives developed in its global structures. The second edition of the accelerator is planned for January 2018.
An inspiring space
Located in an inspirational industrial space at 306 Grochowska Street in Warsaw, the building can accommodate up to 200 people with 650 square meters of workspace and 7 meeting rooms for the community. The program is open to all startups who want to develop their ideas in the creative atmosphere of the former lighting factory, regardless of their profile.
Startberry’s ambition is to create a Warsaw-based Digital Valley for startups from Central and Eastern Europe, joined by potential partners who wish to pursue their startup ideas in a creative space that fosters the exchange of knowledge and ideas.
To better build and strengthen the community, the creators of Startberry also envision at least one industry event organized each day – meetups, hackathons, hackfests, open hours with investors, demo and product days.
For more information, please visit startberry.com